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social media

The use of social media such as Facebook, Xing or Twitter has become part of the daily routine for many people. Social media help people to maintain and extend their social networks. On social media, previously separate social contexts mix. At the same time, social media explicitly encourage people to share and comment on content. Social media thus change how and with whom people share knowledge. The junior research group Social Media investigates how social media change the professional exchange of knowledge and how they influence knowledge processes in everyday life.

For the professional exchange of knowledge, next to the (online) network, knowledge about who knows what in the network plays an important role. The junior research group investigates these processes on the one hand by questionnaire studies with users of business networks such as Xing or LinkedIn, on the other hand with online experiments. The results from these studies are relevant for the field of practice knowledge work with digital media.

The junior research group also started to examine knowledge-related Internet use in everyday situations and investigates, for example, how voice-based digital assistants are used for knowledge questions or how certain properties of text-based agents influence acceptance among users. It also explores which competencies play a role in the successful use of digital media. Further, the junior research group examines how moral information is disseminated via social media and how these platforms can be used to create social value to benefit society.



Advantages of using social media professionally

More than half a billion people worldwide use professional social online networks such as LinkedIn. The objective of this DFG-funded project is to learn more about the positive effects social networking use provides for knowledge workers. 

Automated interaction with consumers

Innovative technologies based on artificial intelligence enable organizations to increasingly communicate with their consumers in an automated way. This project investigates how users perceive interactions with automated agents, including dialog systems ("chatbots"), but also bots that disseminate information on social media platforms. The overall question to be answered is to what extent factors such as human-like characteristics and communicative behaviour of the agent influence the acceptance of the interaction and the performance of the users. 

digilog@bw – Digitisation in dialogue: AI-based voice assistants as a source of information

AI-based voice assistants have spread rapidly and are playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of users. Owners can access a wide range of applications via voice. The assistants are also used for information search and thus provide an alternative to conventional screen-based search engines. The project is dedicated to the question of how voice assistants affect the search for and the evaluation of information.

Informal learning with YouTube

The video-sharing platform YouTube is meanwhile the 2nd largest search engine. “How to…” videos can be found for almost any topic – ranging from make-up tips over solutions for software problems to reparing washing machines. These videos can provide an easy and cheap access to learning opportunities for everybody. How frequently are they used for informal learning and which role does the instructor play?

Trust and sport consumption

Crises are frequent in sport, be they doping or poor performance. How do such crises influence confidence in athletes and ultimately the demand for sporting events? Most professional athletes and teams now have profiles on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Do these more direct interactions with athletes (comments, likes) lead to a stronger bond that can mitigate the negative effects of a crisis?

Use of media to cope with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of many people, causing uncertainty, stress and anxiety. This project investigates how people use social media, podcasts, news and entertainment to cope with these feelings. Additionally, we focus on how media use is related to successful coping and how media use is related to knowledge and preventive behavior.

Virtual Meetings in Private, Educational, and Professional Contexts – Effects and Success Factors

With the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many meetings in personal, educational, and professional contexts have been moved to the virtual realm. In a series of experiments and survey studies, this project aims at identifying and better understanding both effects and success factors of virtual meetings. One primary focus of the investigations is individual camera use and its positive and negative effects.

Former Projects